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Grateful Dead Live at Curtis Hixon Convention Hall on 1973-12-18

Set 1

Tennessee Jed, Me & My Uncle, Don't Ease Me In, Looks Like Rain, They Love Each Other, Me And Bobby McGee, Brown Eyed Women, Beat It On Down The Line-> Peggy-O, El Paso, Deal, Jack Straw, China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider

Set 2

Promised Land-> Bertha-> Greatest Story Ever Told, Row Jimmy, Weather Report Suite Prelude-> Weather Report Suite Part 1-> Let It Grow-> Dark Star-> Mind Left Body Jam-> Dark Star-> Drums-> Eyes Of The World-> Wharf Rat-> Sugar Magnolia, E: Uncle John's Band

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Curtis Hixon Convention Hall
Location Tampa, FL

Source SBD -> Master Reel -> Dat (44.1k)
Lineage Dat (Sony R500) -> Sound Devices 744T -> Adobe Audition v3.0 -> Samplitude Professional v11.2 -> FLAC
Transferred by Charlie Miller


-- All disc changes are seamless
-- I corrected the pitch and fixed the levels
-- There were a few pops that were also removed
-- Patches aren't perfect but they're still good
-- Sugaree tease before Peggy-O
-- Dark Star contains a Mind Left Body jam
-- Thanks to Rob Eaton for the Dats
-- Thanks to Joe B. Jones for his help with the pitch correction


Reviewer: Chris U. - - January 8, 2014
Subject: "this is the quiet part"

Just switch the next night's Here Comes Sunshine for Tennessee Jed as the opener and few would argue that this is the "better" of the two shows.

Given the actual facts, let's just call it a tie. ;)

The Dead were peaking out the entire fall and these shows are really the peak of that peak. It's a testament to Dick Latvala's superb taste that he picked one of these shows to be the first release in his selected series.

I got an amazing audience tape of this show some twenty+ years ago and it's still irresistible imagining what it must have been like to have that WRS jam blasted into my face by that sound system, in real time.

One additional thought about the sound system and it's oft-discussed shortcomings: "it is what it was." The first time I heard the tapes of these shows I, too, noticed the strange "distant" sound of the vocals, like they were being projected from the distant past into the present through via some forgotten AM frequency. Later I came to see it as just another feature of the band's never-ending experiments. It's hard to imagine them sounding any other way at this point.

Oh, and in case anyone was wondering: it wasn't particularly warm in Tampa those two nights in December. Highs in the fifties and chilly at night. Probably seemed pretty similar to the Bay Area ...
Reviewer: schmeddy - - December 21, 2013
Subject: The '73 Sound
For all the kudos that go to the Wall of Sound, I think that it really messed with the Dead's sound, making the vocals sound odd and hollow. There's film out there of an interview in which Billy and Donna discuss the double-microphone setup that Bear pioneered, both of them agreeing that the setup was far too complicated, and that at the very least, it was hard for the vocalist to manage in terms of singing distance from the microphones. And although the performances throughout '73 are terrific, I find the sound of the vocals a big distraction. In addition, I prefer Jerry's guitar sound prior to late '72.
Reviewer: LUCY-25 - - June 7, 2013
Subject: Awesome
Definitely a more mellow night tonight with their slower starts that ease into deep jerry playing, what really stands out to me here is Phill though he's doing some really cool stuff with his bass and the sound makes my brain melt. OVerall great performance (~;}
Reviewer: quinn_76! - - April 27, 2013
Subject: Tampa gets a double-dose.
Former Grateful Dead archivist Dick Latvala (R.I.P.), selected the following night (12/19) to be released as the debut of what became known as the Dick's Picks series. While I have no qualms with that decision (the HERE COMES SUNSHINE from that night is worth the price of admission alone), I'd rate this night as being just as rewarding.

While I offer no constructive criticism for the first set, this night is clearly all about the second set that follows it. Jerry walks onto the stage and jokingly remarks that "the rest of the band couldn't make it for this set" before a jeering crowd. Jerry's seemingly jovial mood seems to serve him well, as he offers some of his best playing of the year during this set. (I've read and listened to interviews where Jerry alludes to being nervous as a cat before going on the stage. If that was the case, he does a swell job of masking it here, as he commands this set with utter confidence and competence.) Hats off to you, "captain trips"!

The finest hour of the evening undoubtedly occurs during the segue that runs as follows: WEATHER REPORT SUITE->DARK STAR->DRUMS->EYES OF THE WORLD->WHARF RAT. This WRS is arguably the best of the year, and with possible exception of 9/11, certainly the jazziest (the interplay between Jerry & Bobby is stupendous). There is an AUD patch around the 14:20 mark, lasting approximately a minute, but hardly seems like a blemish thanks to Charlie Miller’s magic touch.

The Dead, alas, retired for the year after the 12/19 show. It’s seems curious as to why they didn’t squeeze in a few more dates and finished with a new year show like they did in '72. (Perhaps being on the east coast, the travel time back to Cali was factored in, and squeezing in more dates would seem over ambitious.) The Dead were riding a consistent sound wave in late '73 that they were never to quite hit the likes of again. It seems a pity that didn't play a few more shows that we can only speculate how extraordinary they could have been. Still, we must be thankful for what we do have, and realize the boys were well deserving of a break, and an opportunity to relax with loved ones for the holidays. Well done, boys!

P.S. The DS contains a suddle, yet sweet "Mind Left Body Jam". Listen and dig it, folks!
Reviewer: GermanShepherd - - March 22, 2013
Subject: Nice show!
Great transitions in-between tunes during this show. I hadn't really noticed before but they are getting to the point where the songs flow into and out of each other. Eyes>Wharf Rat is a great example.
Reviewer: spacecowboy - - March 10, 2013
Subject: Group mind at work
Satori70 said it best....the band is dialed in completely for the entire show. It is an absolute joy to listen to it from start to finish. Incredible sonic clarity.
Reviewer: mid-maine - - December 19, 2012
Subject: Stellar Show
Not to be missed! Everyone else below has taken care of the superlatives. (Dig that Greatest Story, though: Phases of Phil.)

Seems to my ears that the reason the next night made it on to the Dick's Pix rosters is that there are some very obvious problems with the master, here. Patches from the Miller-master are brilliant, but they couldn't elevate it to release-level quality.

Great jams, though.
Reviewer: Satori70 - - December 18, 2012
Subject: Do not stare directly into this show or it may cause permanent damage to the cornea !
Warning, from the opening this one will burn you ! Like a journey on the Dark Star, passing heavenly onward. Nothing for me comes close to this one in '73. A personal favorite, and all-time fav. of several songs {WRS & Wharf Rat} Sparkling, crisp, brilliant sound quality. Plus...Tampa ? 5***** for Cigar City !

Right from the word go, they sweep you up, and you realize it's rare that EVERYone is so dialed in 100%. Opening with Tennesee, Jerry comes out growling, and Bobby in Me And My Uncle, and LLR is just great !! A rousing, bouncy, They Love Each Other & El Paso but Brown Eyed Women & Peggy-O are perfect as well, if there's such a thing ? How about Keith & Phil in WRS and Eyes, or Bill on the Drums > Dark Star > MLB > Eyes ? So sweet and mournful is that Eyes, with everyone firing on all cylinders. I love putting Phil forward, all crunchy and prominent in the mix. It seriously is like being there with a pair of headphones and dim room. You can really get a feel of what they were trying to say musically with such amazing clarity !

Starting off slow, many of these songs build to a nice peak, then just giving it everything on the way out ! Clean finishes, nice seques. You know how sometimes they can just abrubtly end songs ? Not this evening. They all really seem to feed off each other so nice, and like a laser, focused to a narrow beam of streaming consiousness. Outstanding, really, and the reason I love the Dead. This show leaves me tingling on pins and needles, yet hopeful of humanities future. I am not the same for having heard it, but instead feel blessed to be here now. Enjoy :)
Reviewer: DMT - - May 6, 2012
Subject: .
Reviewer: sharkmanlpn - - May 6, 2012
Subject: #1
This is it,just stream Dark Star I dare ya!!!!!!!!I billion stars best thing I ever heard period.
Reviewer: cb18201 - - April 1, 2012
Subject: .
This is an amazing show all around. A beautiful rendition of Row Jimmy. Don't leave Dark Star on and fall asleep. You'll be jolted awake towards the end thinking your computer is having a melt down.
Reviewer: Jania - - February 12, 2012
Subject: Excellent performance and sound
Excellent set list with a jazzy feel to many tracks, including a strong China Cat Sunflower / I Know You Rider with some unusual improvisation during the transition. Highly recommended!
Reviewer: splue - - July 23, 2011
Subject: review'd by a jar of peanut butter:
This tintinnabulous performance is a living testament to one of the whoopty-whooest concerts of spring '73. Thrill to thrilling deady passages throughout! "Dark Star" is so dark it may be part of that era's alleged "negro problem"--hey, blame Newsweek, not me. Great saxophone by Artie Shaw & singlehandely explains why he was able to make Ava dress up as a li'l french maid.

I hope Tolly rates this high too, then and only then will it be eight miles high.
Reviewer: wildcataggie - - May 14, 2011
Subject: The (next to last) stand of 1973
Absolutely impecable sound. One can almost feel the vibrations of the bass strings as Phil slaps away. Everybody knows about the concert, the year, the band....this is simply one of the most beautiful auditory options for experiencing it!
Reviewer: Dylan M - - May 14, 2011
Subject: Interesting that Dick Picked the next night...
Considering that this second set jam may top DP Volume 1 material all together.

Like previous reviewer mentioned, probably one of the best WRS ever. Phil persuades the audience to quiet down during Prelude. Then the band launches into one of its most nuanced performances of the tune to date.

The Dark Star born out of Let it Grow covers all ground. Thrashy to Jazzy to scary back to reality. Subtle MLB Jam, but nothing compared to 1973.11.11 Winterland MLB Jam. No real transition from Drums into Eyes but then again did we really need one? The Wharf Rat to top the cherry on the sundae is quite soulful and a standout performance of that song.

Defiantly unfairly over shadowed by the next night. The Here Comes Sunshine and Morning Dew from the next night made it memorable as well, but to me this WRS>Dark Star>Drumz>Eyes>Wharf Rat
is the jam of the weekend.

Haven't side-by-side compared this copy to the old MIller remasters, but I'm sure this is the best copy. Thanks!
Reviewer: Cliff Hucker - - May 12, 2011
Subject: Virtually perfect...
I thought the sound quality of miller.97511 was excellent, but this remaster is stunning in its clarity and the brilliance.

This performance remains one of the finest of 1973. It's superbly played and infused with thrilling jazzy passages throughout. WRS is a contender for a best ever performance, and the Dark Star is one of best of the year. Eyes of the World is a stellar rendition that features some great lead guitar work by Weir as he and Phil collaborate on a rather unique and exciting passage.

The jazzy nature of this performance and the superb sound quality of this remaster make for one of the most thrilling transfers archived here. (99+ pts)
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Matthew Vernon
on 5/11/2011
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Grateful Dead
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Source: DTS-Audio-CD 5.1 Mix; SBD (shnid=96167) SBD -> Cassette Master (Nakamichi 550/Maxell XLII-S90); Transfer Info; Cassette Master (Nakamichi DR-1) -> Sound Devices 744T (24bit/96k) -> Adobe Audition v1.5 -> Samplitude Professional v10.1 -> r8brain PRO v1.5 -> FLAC/16; and AUD (shn id 89483) Sennheiser MD-441's > patched thru 2 tapedecks > Marantz PMD-340 > Sony UCX-S 90's, Dolby on. Mics on 8-foot stand, just behind the Sbd.
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Source: Master Audience Recorded By Seremetcc, Transfer By Keo; Nakamichi CM100/CP4 Shotguns > Marantz PMD-430, Tapes:Denon HD8 100's; Recorded By The Soundboard; Transfer With Nakamichi MR-1 > Korg MR-1000 @ 1 Bit/5.6 MHz; Tracking/Sample Rate Conversion With AudioGate V.3.02 To 32/96 kHz Wave; Dithered/Flacked With Korg Aqua To 16/44; SBE's Checked/Fixed With Trader's Little Helper; Metadata Tagging With Tag&Rename
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Source: DTS-Audio-CD 5.1 Mix; SBD (shnid=5068) SBD> MC> DAT> CDR> EAC> CDwave> SHN; via Steve Barbella; d2 tracked for 80 min + AUD (shn id 88535) AUD: Nakamichi CM300's w/CP4 shotguns > patched thru one Sony D5 > Sony TC-D5M > Maxell MX90's, no Dolby. Mics on 7-foot stand in OTS.
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